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Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl News

Donahue, Christman Tie Thunder Road Records

- Justin St. Louis on 27 Aug 2010

John Donahue won his third consecutive Late Model feature at Thunder Road on Thursday. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)PHOTO: John Donahue won his third consecutive Late Model feature at Thunder Road on Thursday. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)

Sweet is “King of the Road”

Thunder Road fans saw a night of record-setting performances Thursday as John Donahue tied a record 13 years old, Ken Christman tied one 49 years old, and Nick Sweet set his own record by becoming the track champion.

Donahue, of Graniteville, posted his third consecutive Late Model victory in the Aubuchon Hardware 75-lap regular season finale to become only the second driver in the division’s history to achieve the three-peat. Phil Scott won three straight Late Model features in August 1997. The last driver in any division to win three straight features at Thunder Road was Street Stock driver Kevin Campbell in 1999.

“I want two more,” Donahue said, referring to the Labor Day Classic and Milk Bowl events in September. “I can go for it, it’s stress-free.”

Donahue entered the Aubuchon event as a long shot for the championship, an almost insurmountable 42 points behind leader Dave Pembroke, but had won the last two features at the track. The Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 is part of the American-Canadian Tour schedule -- a series in which Donahue sits third overall but is a distant 177 points out of the championship -- and the Milk Bowl is a special non-points event.

“I told these guys today, I was talking to Nick [Sweet], I said, ‘It’s stress-free for me, I’m here to have fun. I don’t have to worry about it,’” said Donahue. “Today, I needed to have three of them [Pembroke, Sweet, and Scott] to have really bad days or wreck or whatever. I still had a mathematical chance, but I wasn’t looking at it like that. I’m looking at wins. I’ve got four of them this season. Nobody else has even doubled, and I’ve got four. Three in a row, baby.”

Middlesex racer Pembroke entered the race with a two-point lead over Sweet, of Barre, and an eight-point edge on Scott, of Montpelier. While Pembroke and Scott stuggled in qualifying, Sweet won his heat race to vault into an eight-point lead on Pembroke, with Scott 18 points behind.

Pembroke finished second to Donahue in the main event and challenged for the win during the final five laps, but was unable to complete an outside-lane pass. Sweet finished third to clinch the title by six points.

Grant Folsom of Waitsfield led 43 laps before finishing fourth, and Tunbridge driver Doug Murphy scored a season-best fifth-place finish. Eric Williams was sixth in a rare Thunder Road appearance, with Cody Blake seventh; Blake clinched the Rookie of the Year title with his effort. Scott, Jamie Fisher, and Brooks Clark completed the top ten finishers.

Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg passed Northfield’s John Lambert late in the 35-lap Tiger Sportsman feature, then held off a bumper-tagging charge from Shawn Fleury of Middlesex to take his second victory of the season. Lambert held off Jimmy Hebert for third place, with Joel Hodgdon fifth.

Joe Fecteau of Hardwick snapped a four-year dry spell with his first Street Stock win of the season. Defending division champion Gary Mullen of Tunbridge was the runner-up, with Lincoln’s Garry Bashaw third for the fourth time in six events. Bunker Hodgdon and Ron Gabaree rounded out the top five.

Ken Christman of Cabot posted his tenth victory of the year in the Junkyard Warrior division. Christman’s win ties the all-time Thunder Road single-season victory record set in 1961 by Roy Forsythe. Christman will only need to collect appearance points at the Labor Day event to clinch the division championship before the Milk Bowl finale. Kevin Wheatley of Brookfield finished second to Christman with Fred Schroeder of Bristol third.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS � Aubuchon Hardware Night
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, August 26, 2010

# - denotes rookie

ACT Late Model (75 laps)
1. John Donahue, Graniteville
2. Dave Pembroke, Middlesex
3. Nick Sweet, Barre (2010 Thunder Road Champion)
4. Grant Folsom, Waitsfield
5. Doug Murphy, Tunbridge
6. Eric Williams, Hyde Park
7. # Cody Blake, Barre
8. Phil Scott, Montpelier
9. Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
10. Brooks Clark, Fayston

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman (35 laps)
1. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
2. Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
3. John Lambert, Northfield
4. Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown
5. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
6. George May, Barre
7. David Finck, Barre
8. # Jason Corliss, Danville
9. Tony Rossi, Peacham
10. Eric Badore, Milton

Allen Lumber Street Stock/Junkyard Warrior (25 laps)
1. Joe Fecteau, Hardwick (SS)
2. Gary Mullen, Tunbridge (SS)
3. Garry Bashaw, Lincoln (SS)
4. Bunker Hodgdon, Hardwick (SS)
5. Rob Gabaree, Barrre (SS)

24. Ken Christman, Cabot (JW)
25. Kevin Wheatley, Brookfield (JW)
26. Fred Schroeder, Bristol (JW)

Season Complete


ACT Late Model
Barre, Vt.

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman
Peacham, Vt.

Allen Lumber Street Stock
Williamstown, Vt.

Junkyard Warrior
Cabot, Vt.

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